BROWNWOOD—Bill Ellis will retire as president of Howard Payne University May 31 and assume a new role as the university’s chancellor.
Ellis made the announcement the week after the close of Howard Payne’s spring semester.
“I am honored to have served as president of this treasured institution,” Ellis said. “I look forward to seeing what great things God has in store for HPU in the years ahead.”
Ellis, the 19th president in HPU’s 129-year history, joined the university’s administration in 2009. During his years as president, HPU welcomed its largest new-student class in more than three decades, made a variety of facility upgrades including an extensive renovation of the Mabee University Center, and expanded operations to create an extension center in New Braunfels.
“Dr. Bill Ellis is a distinguished proponent of Christian higher education and has a great love for Howard Payne University,” said Ray Still, chair of HPU’s board of trustees. “I am grateful for his service to HPU as president, and I appreciate his continued involvement as chancellor.”
Ellis’ primary duties as chancellor will be to work with major donors and to develop HPU’s extension centers in El Paso and New Braunfels.
“The work our university is doing at all three locations is vital,” said Ellis, referring to its main campus in Brownwood and its two extensions. “I am excited to be able to focus all of my attention on growing the financial resources to support these efforts.”
Prior to his role as HPU president, Ellis was provost and chief academic officer at Hardin-Simmons University in Abilene. His experience in higher education also includes positions at Ouachita Baptist University in Arkadelphia, Ark.; Mississippi College in Clinton, Miss.; Louisiana College in Pineville, La.; and Clarke College in Newton, Miss..
HPU’s board of trustees named Paul W. Armes as interim president. Armes, who will take office June 1, was president of Wayland Baptist University and San Marcos Baptist Academy. He also held numerous faculty roles, pastorates and leadership positions in denominational service.